"Western powers insisted that they were trying to prevent this war while doing everything possible to ensure that it happened. Now they say they are trying to end this war while doing everything possible to ensure it continues." -- Caitlin Johnstone
Our guest blogger/historian, Coast Watcher, fills in a lot of gaps in the picture of how Nazis came into being in what is now the country of Ukraine. This background information has been avoided altogether in the mainstream media. Please feel free to share this blog link with others who are scratching their heads over the NATO/Ukraine/Neo-Nazi connection.
The History of Nazism in Ukraine
by Coast Watcher
The situation in Ukraine is the latest manifestation of racial turmoil that has lasted for centuries. Once part of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became independent when the USSR ceased to exist and the Russian Federation began. To gain an understanding of the roots from which the current war sprang, we have to look back over 250 years.
Catherine II, aka the Great, was born in Stettin (today Szczecin, Poland), a city in what was then part of Prussia. Married to Tsar Peter III, who was himself German, she rose to ultimate authority in Russia following her husband’s assassination in 1762.
It would be fair to say Catherine was not impressed by her adopted country. The modernizing reforms of her predecessor Peter the Great had lost impetus. Vast swathes of the Russian Empire were still virtually medieval in nature. Catherine decided to promote economic and cultural reform by inviting foreigners to settle within her empire, particularly uncultivated regions such as the Ukraine province. It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that the group she directed most of her energies to were her fellow Germans. She regarded German settlers as natural supporters of her rule and a bulwark against the ethnic Russians.
Catherine promised immigrants from the West numerous incentives: exemption from military service, self-governance, tax breaks, initial financial aid, 30 hectares (75 acres) of land per settler family. In addition, freedom of language was guaranteed - in particular to German immigrants. And above all, the manifesto granted immigrants freedom of religion.
These freedoms shouldn’t be underestimated. The pogróm as an article of the Tsar’s power over his subjects was a terrible thing to unleash. Most people will know of the pogróms against Jews in particular that were enacted at times throughout Russian history. Whole Jewish communities were wiped out, usually by Cossacks, Russian peasants and townsfolk who were neighbors of the Jews, all with official sanction.
The settlement by Germans led to large areas of Ukraine being developed and improved. Catherine’s program of reforms created fertile farmland and industries. However, matters changed quite radically in the following century when Tsar Nicholas I came to the throne in 1825. His reign was reactionary and autocratic and led to the rolling back of numerous reforms. Nicholas had a violent streak and would not tolerate dissent of any kind. His tendency to use brute military force against the object of his hatred of the moment led to crushing oppression of ethnic minorities within the Russian Empire and the rescinding of German settler privileges in the Ukraine. His policies caused many Germans to emigrate to the US, Canada, and other countries. For those remaining, any love they had for their adopted country withered dramatically.
The Soviet Union vs. Ukraine
Following the Communist Revolution the ethnic Germans of the Ukraine found themselves in difficulties. Never trusted by native Russians, the Soviet regime came down hard on the German settlements, leading to anti-German pogróms, famine, and the dispossession of people whose families had farmed or worked in the region for generations.
Nazi Germany declared war on the USSR in 1941 and invaded Russian territory in Operation Barbarossa. As the blitzkrieg rolled eastward they found willing collaborators in the Ukraine Germans. Labeling them Volksdeutsche — ethnic Germans who spoke German and had German culture, but who were not themselves German citizens—the Nazis set out to transform Ukraine into a totally German province.
They recruited heavily into Nazi Einsatzgruppen (deployment groups), paramilitary death squads that were responsible for mass-murder, primarily by shooting of Jews, gypsies, Soviet prisoners and everyone else on the Nazi hate list. Another term for these units was Schutzstaffel (SS), a designation that appears on the current Ukrainian Azov Battalion uniform.
(Editor's Note: The double S in runic form is synonymous with Nazi death squads. Therefore, the symbol appearing on the uniforms of the Azov Battalion should be a cause for alarm. Azov Battalion members profess that they believe in ridding their country of "Asiatic peoples" and ethnic Russians (people who speak Russian as a first language) are seen as "Asiatic" and, therefore, "inferior" to "European" Ukrainians. Battalion members also profess a hatred of the Roma (Gypsy) people and LGBTQ+ persons and have openly bragged about killing them.)
To add fuel to the ethnic fire, on the orders of the Supreme Soviet all Russian Germans remaining within Russian control were forcibly deported to Siberia in the summer of 1941. Approximately half their number died in the gulags from sickness and starvation. The majority remained in Siberia until the death of Stalin. Not all of them returned to Ukraine.
The collapse of the Soviet Union meant yet another turning point in the Russian-German saga. Life “in the backyards of the empire” became increasingly difficult. More than two million Russian-Germans decided to return to Germany, the country of their ancestors. Germany accepted them as "late resettlers." Only some 800,000 citizens of German descent remain in Russia today, most of them in Siberia. Many returned to the Ukraine region, which subsequently dropped the word "the" to become the country of "Ukraine".
The Modern World
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a hard man, in a country known for producing hard men. Former KGB agent Putin has remained at the top of one of the toughest political systems in the world for over twenty years.
It’s no secret that Putin would like to restore Russian hegemony over the former territories of the USSR. The annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 returned control of the vital Sevastopol naval base to Russia against UN censure. Equally it’s no secret that he has cooperated with the West over international affairs while sounding a note of caution against American imperialism and over-exuberance.
When Ukrainian paramilitary groups began persecuting ethnic Russians, Jews, and LGBTQ+ people in the country as a whole and particularly in the eastern region of the Donbas, Putin warned the Ukrainian government against supporting these Neo-Nazi groups.
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky, President of Ukraine, is a former actor and comedian, most noted for his performance in the TV show Servant of the People in which he played the president of Ukraine. The series aired from 2015 to 2019. A political party bearing the same name as the television show was created in March 2018 by employees of Studio Kvartal 95, Zelensky's production company. Life imitated art when Zelensky became the head of this party with the help of Ukranian oil billionaire (or "oligarch") Ihor Kolomoisky.
The Pandora Papers, the worldwide probe leaked to the International
Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), included work by
journalists from the Ukrainian media Slidstvо.Info. The Ukrainian journalists connected the shady financial dealings of Zelensky's Studio Kvartal 95 to Kolomoisky. Slidstvo found that they laundered money by passing it through the
Cyprus branch of the Kolomoisky-owned Privatbank.
The Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline built between Germany and Russia will provide Europe with plentiful cheap liquid natural gas, something that would take profits away from Kolomoisky's oil business. The Pandora Papers revealed that both Kolomoisky and Zelensky laundered money through shell companies, greatly enlarging their respective bank accounts, and could stand to lose more money if the Russian pipeline is allowed to undersell their oil interests. (Editor's note: The US and other NATO countries don't want the Nord Stream pipeline to succeed since they want to sell their natural gas to Europe using their own methods of delivery. Less competition means Western oil companies can raise the price of their natural gas worldwide.)
Zelensky (with Kolomoisky's backing) has given overt support and state funding to the Neo-Nazi paramilitary groups to keep in check ethnic Russians and others who have protested the 2014 coup that put him into power. (An estimated 14,000 ethnic Russians/Russian speakers have been killed in the Donbas region alone in recent years by these paramilitaries.) Zelensky has allowed NATO groups to provide these ethnic-cleansing paramilitaries with training and equipment. Recently, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the return of UK troops who had trained the likes of the Azov Battalion, the most prominent of the Ukrainian Neo-Nazi paramilitary groups.
Does anyone see the irony
in the fact that 80 years ago
British forces were part of the massive Allied effort to defeat the
Nazis? Does anyone in the West remember which Allied member took on the most Nazis with the greatest loss of life to their own people? That country was the Soviet Union, now called Russia, with whom NATO is currently at loggerheads primarily over the Nord Stream pipeline and the flow of liquid natural gas to Europe. The Soviet Union lost 27 million people during World War II... Russians do not have fond memories of Nazis for obvious reasons.
Putin has warned NATO against expanding its membership any further eastward—something NATO has failed to heed. The current situation is not unlike the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Then, the USSR had established missiles in Cuba within 92 miles of the American mainland. After a tense thirteen day standoff while the world held its breath, the USSR withdrew its weapons and the situation eased. The recent establishment of a NATO base in Poland, within 100 miles of Russia's western border, almost perfectly parallels the Cuban Missile Crisis. Alas, Biden is no JFK and Putin is no Nikita Khrushchev.
Today Ukraine supplies half of the world’s sunflower oil exports and is the third largest rapeseed (canola) exporter. It provides 12% of global wheat exports, 16% of corn, 18% for barley, and 19% for canola. More than 40% of Ukraine’s annual corn and wheat shipments have headed to the Middle East or Africa. Ukraine is China’s top supplier of grain, a situation that has deep implications for that country since it is not an importer of American grain.
Some economic experts feel that the proxy war in Ukraine is a prelude to a greater mission to disable first the Russian economy and then dismantle the Chinese economy. NATO possibly feels justified in using Ukraine's Neo-Nazi paramilitaries in reaching a satisfactory conclusion to the Cold War that the break up of the USSR never provided the West. Nevermind that the average Ukrainian citizen doesn't get a say in the matter! (Nevermind if Americans and citizens of other NATO countries wind up paying more for food and fuel, too.)
The Donbas region in eastern Ukraine is known as an industrial powerhouse, with heavy mining and steel-producing capacity, as well as having large coal reserves. With this traditionally ethnic Russian region returned to Russia, Ukraine would be deprived of a substantial percentage of its economic wealth. Deposits of uranium, lithium, and other rare earth metals also add to the potential for profits to whomever ultimately rules Ukraine.
(Editor's note: Whenever a war--proxy or otherwise--breaks out, follow the money to see who really benefits from the situation. Often it's the billionaires or oligarchs who are pushing for war in order to wipe out their competitors and lock up the markets all to themselves. "Freedom" and "self-determination" are not commodities capitalists worry very much about.)
What will happen next?
hard to predict. The Russians, after all, have made their wishes clear that they will not tolerate NATO bases stationed along their borders. The Western
mainstream media is pumping out a frenzy of anti-Russian propaganda. Alternate sources of
information and insight such as RT America and Sputnik have been pressured into shutting down in the US at the cost of thousands of American jobs.
Anti-Russian propaganda-fueled hysteria among neoliberals reached epic heights this past week with anything and everything Russian being condemned, closed down, or removed. Russian vodka has been poured down drains and Russian breeders of Russian Blue cats can no longer register their animals with feline pedigree associations and sell them as purebreds, putting ordinary Russian distillers and cat breeders out of work.
So much for free speech and the 1st Amendment. So much for supporting ordinary workers--either American or Russian.
The West in the shape of President Biden has issued grave warnings to Russia that it must not use chemical or biological weapons in its current war. But really, why would Russia do so when its huge conventional military force is clearly dominating the much smaller Ukrainian military? It's hard to understand why Biden would bring up possible American-sponsored biolabs that the US has set up in Ukraine in recent years other than to sound like he's tougher on Putin than his predecessor. And why would Russia resort to using biological weapons in the Donbas, considering it shares a border with Ukraine and wishes to protect the lives of ethnic Russians living there? Therein lies madness.
Russia has warned the West that it regards shipments of arms and equipment to Ukraine as legitimate military targets. There’s every fear that a false flag operation will tip this proxy war between NATO and Russia into a full-scale global war, possibly igniting World War III and ending in nuclear winter. Perhaps an American ship full of arms will suddenly explode or sink--just like the Battleship Maine did in Havana Harbor in 1898, setting off the Spanish-American War. Looking closely at the history of the United States, any intelligent person will see that the US is rather prone to using such false flag techniques to justify attacking other countries.
Remember the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War? WMDs in Iraq, anyone?
Goading the Russian Bear is a stupid mistake. Don’t complain if you get mauled.
BIO: Coast Watcher studies the past to predict future events. It's not that difficult if you keep an open mind and don't fall for Western propaganda. To find out who and what's really behind any military conflict, follow the money--even if it's being laundered through an oligarch's offshore bank account.
How One Ukranian Billionaire Funded Hunter Biden, President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the Neo-Nazi Azov Batallion https://kanekoa.substack.com/p/how-one-ukrainian-billionaire-funded?s=r
US, UK, France Falsely Promised USSR Not To Expand NATO East of Germany (video) https://www.rokfin.com/post/78380
Ukraine Makes Birthday of Nazi Collaborator a National Holiday https://www.newsweek.com/ukraine-nazi-collaborator-birthday-holiday-anti-semitic-1272911
The US and Ukraine Have Every Reason to Lie About the War https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-us-and-ukraine-have-every-reason?s=r
Global South Rejects US/NATO Aggression https://popularresistance.org/global-south-rejects-u-s-nato-aggression/
Victoria Nuland: "Ukraine Has Biological Research Facilities," Worried Russia May Seize Them https://scheerpost.com/2022/03/11/victoria-nuland-ukraine-has-biological-research-facilities-worried-russia-may-seize-them%ef%bf%bc/
Russia's Invasion of Ukraine May Have Disastrous Cascading Effect for Climate https://truthout.org/articles/russias-invasion-of-ukraine-may-have-disastrous-cascading-effects-for-climate/
Russian and US Oligarchs Funnel Money for Personal and Political Gain https://truthout.org/articles/russian-and-us-oligarchs-funnel-money-to-charity-for-personal-and-political-gain/
Zelensky's Ukraine, Where the Pandora Papers Hit Hardest https://worldcrunch.com/world-affairs/volodymyr-zelensky-pandora-papers/igor-kolomoisky-billionaire-zelensky
How Ukraine's Jewish President Zelensky Made Peace with Neo-Nazi Paramilitaries on the Front Lines of War with Russia https://thegrayzone.com/2022/03/04/nazis-ukrainian-war-russia/
They’re in shambles trying to figure out a way to say “Nazis are bad but THESE Nazis are ok”— 👽 Chumbolex 👽 (@Chumbolex) March 12, 2022
I want to check on something. Everyone here knows Nazis were/are still bad, right?— Pandas: No, we can't afford higher food & gas. (@glowingcanary) March 13, 2022
Our Gov't went right past normalizing supporting Nazis to normalizing arming them.— Black in the Empire (@blackintheempir) March 13, 2022
Why do we have laws opposing BDS and no laws opposing Nazis in Ukraine and in the U.S.?— Kris Legion 🦺📢 (@LegionSocialist) March 13, 2022
The Ukrainian Neo Nazi Azov Battalion states that Russians are a part of the "inferior Asiatic peoples" and that's why they should all die. We're teaching white supremacy ideology to American children with this map. How nice. #nonazis #StopHatingRussians https://t.co/JMUb30NbmY— Pls Read TheRevolutionContinues.com (@cynthianna3) March 14, 2022
The first conflict in which the side with biolabs and Nazis are the good guys.— Garland Nixon (@GarlandNixon) March 15, 2022
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